Darjeeling, West Bengal:
Union Home Minister Amit Shah today gave assurance that a political solution to the long-drawn “Gorkha problem” in the Hills will be reached once the BJP forms government in West Bengal.
Amit Shah, during a public meeting in Darjeeling, said that the country’s Constitution is “vast” and has provisions for solving all problems.
“I promise that a permanent political solution to the Gorkha problem will be reached by the double-engine government of the BJP – one at the Centre and the other in Bengal. You will not have to resort to agitations anymore,” he said.
The Union Minister, however, did not specify which problem he was referring to.
Gorkhas had long been demanding a separate state, and several movements have been launched by the community over the years, the latest being in 2017.
Contending that Gorkhas are the pride of India, Amit Shah said that no one cause them any harm.
“There is no plan to implement NRC for now. Even if the exercise is carried out, Gorkhas need not worry about it,” he asserted.
Amit Shah also said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has “put a full stop” on the development work in Darjeeling, a place that the ruling TMC leaders visit at leisure.
Mamata Banerjee has visited Darjeeling numerous times in the recent past, but she did not hold any campaign for the three assembly seats in the region – set to go polls on April 17.
The top BJP leader claimed that TMC chief Mamata Banerjee tried to ruin the cordial relationship that the BJP shared with the Gorkhas by instituting criminal cases against “some”.
“Didi has got many killed and instituted cases against many. The BJP, after coming to power, will give amnesty to all such people,” he said, without naming anyone.
GJM leader Bimal Gurung, a former ally of BJP, had gone into hiding after several criminal charges were pressed against him for allegedly leading a violent statehood agitation in 2017. He resurfaced in October last year and joined hands with the TMC.
The state administration has now approached the courts of law for withdrawing some of these cases.
The ruling TMC has left the three Darjeeling constituencies to its allies from the Hills — the two GJM factions led by Gurung and Binay Tamang.
Both the sparring factions have fielded candidates, who are contesting the elections from the three seats as Independents.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)